5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
More than Quite Interesting,
This review is from: QI The Book of the Dead (Hardcover)
What links Oliver Cromwell, Catherine de Medici, Rembrandt, Frida Kahlo and Madame Mao? Why, monkeys of course! Cromwell was kidnapped by one as a baby, all the others owned at least one simian companion. This is just one of the very many more-than-quite-interesting bits of trivia this book provides. In fact, so consistent were the "how interesting, I never knew that! I must tell someone right now" moments in this book that within half a dozen pages I had to stop mentally note-taking and simply enjoy the ride. I reckon these tidbits must average out to one or two a page, which in a book of over 400 pages, means trivia-lovers will be more than satisfied.
This book is extremely readable and the thematic approach to its subjects (each chapter containing mini-biographies of its subjects based on categories of poor parenting, aforementioned monkeys, fantasy lives or sexual behaviour, amongst others) means it is easy to skip back and forth between chapters as you like. The index and suggested reading are also laid out gloriously clearly - a nerdish thing to notice, but refreshing in such books. There is even a link to QI's 'Book of the Dead' forum where you can discuss any mistakes you've spotted or find out more about the book's sources.
One issue though - as the other reviewers have noticed, there are some glaring syntactical errors which really jar against the generally highly involving and well composed writing. Nonetheless QI is taking over from Schott's Miscellany as the source for fascinating, well written trivia and this book is a brilliant buy for anyone interested in the genre.